Bill Hass on Baseball:Power stings Hoppers one final time

Power stings Hoppers one final time
from Bill Hass with Bill on Baseball(Greensboro Grasshoppers) at

The Hoppers saw the last of the West Virginia Power Sunday afternoon, and it couldn’t have come too soon.

The teams played for the final time in the 2015 season, with the Power thumping the Hoppers 14-5 at NewBridge Bank Park. The win ran their record against Greensboro to 8-2 in the second half and 11-6 overall this season.

After going 3-6 on the home stand against West Virginia and Hickory, a day off on Monday will likely do the Hoppers some good. They open a three-game series at Hickory Tuesday and follow with four games at Delmarva.

After two well-played games in which they beat the Power 5-2 and 1-0, the Hoppers couldn’t keep their momentum rolling. Starter Ben Holmes, coming off seven innings of shutout ball in his last start, was tagged for two runs in the first inning.

The Hoppers answered in the bottom of the first against Stephen Tarpley, who pitched a rain-shortened, six-inning no-hitter in his previous start. He was greeted by a home run by John Norwood, singles by Rony Cabrera and Arturo Rodriguez and an RBI double by K.J. Woods to tie the game 2-2 with no outs.

But after those four straight hits, the offense faltered and couldn’t score again in the inning. And that was it, except for some cosmetic runs in the eighth and ninth innings.

Holmes surrendered two runs in the second and three more in the fourth before being lifted for Kelvin Rivas, the first of five Hoppers relievers. They all gave up at least one run except for Jose Velez, who retired the side in order for the only time all afternoon in the eighth inning.

No Hoppers pitcher could do anything with the Power’s Jerrick Suiter, who had five hits, including his third homer of the year. He drove in five runs, scored three times and also drew a walk, reaching base six times. Tyler Gushue homered and drove in three runs, Jordan Luplow homered, Elvis Escobar had three hits and three runs and Pablo Reyes had three hits as the Power recorded 17 hits.

NOTES: Roy Morales had three hits, two of them infield singles, for the Hoppers … Second baseman-center fielder Mason Davis should come off the disabled list and be ready for Tuesday’s game … If the rotation doesn’t change, Tyler Kolek is scheduled to start the Hickory series.